Math Ninja – Review
App Type: Uncategorized
By: Ray Wenderlich
Date Released: 2010-05-11
Price: 1.99User Rating:
Math! For most children might as well be a four letter word. Many companies have tried to incorporate math training into games in order to help with memorization. Many of these "edutainment" games, like the classic Number Munchers, are burned in our memory as fun distractions from the drag of school. The developers of Math Ninja have given me an opportunity to try this new education title, and see if it can live up to the classic while also helping teach math.
The game is set up in a linear fashion with each level beginning with a cut scene of your nemesis (a tomato). He gives clues to what he will unleash on you in order to steal some tasty treats you have hidden inside your tree house. Luckily, you are a ninja, or more specifically, a math ninja.
Each level consists of a barrage of enemies attempting to reach, and then destroy, your tree house. You kill the enemies by tapping on them and that in turn, fires one of several weapons you have available. After a wave of attacks, you will have to answer a series of math problems in order to earn money, which is used to purchase new weapons, upgrade existing weapons, and increase your tree house’s health. Once you have defended against another wave of attacks, you are faced with your tomato antagonist, and will have to deal damage to him by correctly answering math problems.
The weapons each have their own style, and you find a use for each in defeating the various types of enemies you face as the levels increase. There are options to upgrade weapons, or simple increase your supply of them, which leaves you to decide, "Do I need a faster, or more powerful attack, or do I need more ammo?"
The game offers three difficulty settings which change the time you are given to answer a problem. You can select what type of arithmetic you want to practice (subtraction, addition, multiplication, or division), and the problems are generally ones you will be able to work out in your head.
When I began reviewing this game I was a little put off by the simple, child-like graphics, and silly, paper thin, story. Surprisingly, as I continued to play I was amazed at the addictiveness this game has. The math is never too much of a distraction from the action, but strikes a good balance between the fun and the learning. The upgrades draw you to finish another level, and the progression of difficulty is not so much as to discourage the younger audience that this game is geared toward. In fact, this game is a fantastic example of fun learning and would be a great addition to those children that have iPhone/iTouch.
While Math Ninja will never take the place in my heart for Number Munchers (pause to wipe a tear from my eye), it stands as a great education game for math practice.
Would I Buy Again:Yes
Who Is It For:Young kids that want to practice math.
What I Like:Addictive gameplay.
What I Don't Like:Long initial load time.
Final Statement:Cat-bots? Giant tomatoes? This is a job for Math Ninja!
You are Haruku, just an ordinary guy - except you're also a Math Ninja. And your arch rival Tomato-San is after your tasty math treasure!
If you are bored with Math Flash Cards or don't like "Mad Minutes", you will love Math Ninja - it's a solidly fun game in the strategic defense genre, that you won't be able to put down!
So much fun that you won't even notice you're learning math along the way.
This game is great for:
* Kids who are sick of flash cards but need to practice addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
* Middle school and high school students wanting to brush up on basic math skills in preparation for standardized tests like the HSAs or PSATs.
* Adults who love the strategic defense genre - and a humorous story!
* Multiple unlockable ninja weapons, from ninja stars to smoke screens!
* An multi-tiered skill tree of weapon upgrades - how will you develop your ninja skills?
* A humorous story mode about Haruku the Math Ninja vs. his arch-rival Tomato-San!
* Three levels of difficulty - good for those just learning Math as well as true Math Ninjas!
* Completely customizable math - you choose what math questions show up and the range of math problems.
Article By Nathan Kline
Nathan has been an avid Apple user and advocate since the days of the Apple ][. He has always sought to find new ways to make use of technology to assist his daily life. As a paramedic in southern California Nathan brings his familiarity with technology to the field, and at whatsoniphone.com he brings his critical thinking to he analysis of apps and news. You has also written app reviews for the mobile app site Smokinapps.com.
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